Chapter 9: Using Digital Helpers
Managing all aspects of your life as a busy student can be stressful. You may feel as though there are not enough hours in the day to accomplish all of the items on your to-do list. With hundreds of apps available for various types of smartphones and other mobile devices, you may be able to simplify your life, save time and potentially save money when you use the right combination of apps.
Apps for Organization and Managing Tasks
If you have trouble waking up, Alarmy is an excellent tool to use. While some alarms simply go off and have a snooze feature that lets you fall back to sleep, Alarmy requires you to shake the phone, take a picture or complete other tasks. This additional thought and effort may help you to wake up faster. This app is available for Android and Apple devices.
For students who have trouble keeping up with deadlines, assignment due dates and more, this app is an excellent resource to use. You can input all of your various scheduled items into the app. It works with cloud technology and iCal integration, and it can be used on Microsoft, Apple and Android devices.
If self-control is not your strong suit, this Mac-based application may be ideal for you. Once you download it, you can block websites or apps that you do not want access to. These may be apps and websites that draw your attention away from studying, writing a paper or completing other tasks in a timely manner.
Any.Do is a Google-based application that is ideal for tackling all scheduling challenges. It can sync your calendar, reminders and more together in one location. You can set alerts and notifications to help you manage your time.
Whether you need assistance with group collaboration or you want to access your own files from any location, OneDrive is a great application to use. This is a Microsoft product that allows seamless file sharing. An alternative to OneDrive is Google Drive. It also helps facilitate fast and easy file sharing.
Dropbox is another file sharing application that you can use. You simply save document files, image files and more in your box. You can access the files later from another location, or you can give other people access to the files for collaboration purposes
Evernote is a robust tool that you can use individually or for group assignments. It helps you stay organized. You can link multiple tasks to the application, add notes, hyperlinks and more for further simplification of your life.
Apps for Caring for Your Safety and Health
ALL i CAN EAT
Students with food intolerances or allergies may struggle to eat in college cafeterias, restaurants and more. This app is available through Amazon, Google and the Apple store. It can be customized to help you make smarter food decisions and to stay as healthy as possible.
Available on Android and Apple devices, this is a robust health app that lets you monitor your medications quickly and easily. You can upload your records, and you can also check up on drug interactions and other important details.
Circle of 6
It may be best to stick together with your friends when you head out at night, but friends can easily get separated. This Google and Apple app lets you track the location of your linked friends through a GPS function. You can also call others through a one-touch feature.
If you plan to drink while out with friends, you can refer to the charts on this app to determine when you have had enough.
This is an excellent workout app that helps you to stay on track with your fitness goals. It is functional with all mobile devices, and you can customize workouts based on your specific needs.
Nike+ Training Club
You may not be able to afford a personal trainer in college, but this app is the next best thing. You can select from more than 100 pre-designed workouts. Each workout includes step-by-step instructions and the ability to track your progress.
Apps for Handling Your Finances
This app allows you to link all bank accounts, credit card accounts and more to your Mint account. Mint tracks balances, total debts, due dates and more.
Left to Spend
Left to Spend is only available for Apple mobile devices. It helps you to stick to your budget in a simplified manner. The app can be used daily or for special spending situations, such as when taking a vacation.
Debt Payoff Planner
Debt is a common issue for college students. While you may have limited funds in college to pay debt balances down, the Debt Payoff Planner can help you to make use of your limited funds more effectively.
Venmo is an Apple-based app that lets you transfer money to friends when they need a loan. It also lets you accept payments when a friend is repaying you money. This app also works well when paying bills online.
Apps for Socializing and Everyday Life
College students want to learn more about social events happening on or near campus and meet new people in the process. Most colleges and universities now have online social platforms that let you stay connected and that can even be used to help you meet like-minded people.
Social Media and Instant Messaging Apps
College students are usually active on social media platforms. These include Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, to name a few. You can also connect with new friends in your class or dorm via instant messaging apps, such as Viber, WhatsApp and others.
Apps for Video Chatting
Keeping up with the folks back home can be challenging, but there are now numerous video chatting platforms available for you to use. For example, Skype is a free platform that lets you see the person who you are talking to. It can be used on your smartphone, laptop or other devices.
If you get around town using public transportation, such as a city bus system, Moovit can give you access to bus routes, schedules and more. It is available for Android and Apple mobile devices.
If you are involved in a long-distance relationship, Between can help you to personalize your non-verbal communication with your significant other. Through the app, you can send messages and memos, photos and more.
Apps for Studying
SoundNote is an iOS product that is most commonly used with the iPad. You can take notes in the notepad feature on this app while also recording audio in real-time. An entire lecture can be recorded in this fashion.
This app lets you take pictures of a whiteboard or overhead projector screen. It immediately converts the image to a desired format, such as a PDF or Word document. You can access it through a cloud-based solution, such as One Drive or OneNote.
This is an exceptional educational resource that gives you access to mind maps, notes, quizzes and flashcards from individuals in your circle, such as classmates. You can share your own study materials as well. More than that, you can even access documents shared by a global community.
StudyBlue is an Apple and Google product that lets you create your own study cards and organize them as desired, such as by a section or chapter. You can access your cards from any location when you decide to study.
BenchPrep is an online application that connects you to study questions, educational archives and other resources on a wide range of topics. This can make it faster and easier to study, research topics and more.
If you have trouble with works cited pages, EasyBib is the resource for you to use. This application lets you scan a barcode or enter the publication info yourself. You select the formatting style required by your professor, and EasyBib generates the source documentation that you need.
Each college student has strengths and weaknesses, and there are numerous apps and programs available to help you combat your weaknesses head-on. In the next chapter, we’ll deal with the process of transitioning into post-collegiate life.